NZ hops can help during fasting

7 February 2020

A new study shows that a New Zealand hop extract can help reduce hunger pangs when using fasting as a way to manage food intake.

In a clinical trial conducted by Plant & Food Research, Amarasate™ - an extract from a hops cultivar bred and grown in New Zealand – reduced feelings of hunger in young men undertaking a 24-hour water-only fast. This suggests that people who are undertaking periods of fasting to manage their own food intake – such as intermittent fasting regimes – may benefit from using Amarasate™ to keep their hunger at bay during their fasting periods.

“Intermittent fasting is gaining popularity as a way to manage food intake,” says Plant & Food Research scientist Dr Edward Walker, who led the study. “We know that Amarasate™ triggers a signal in the gut that tells the brain to stop eating and can reduce food intake when taken before meals. We wondered if this same mechanism would work in people that were fasting, so undertook a study examining hunger during the most challenging type of intermittent fasting day – a 24-hour water only fast.

“The results showed that Amarasate™ reduced feelings of hunger, even over meal periods when we tend to feel hungrier. The study suggests that Amarasate™ can give people who wish to incorporate fasting into their lifestyle a better chance of completing their fast and support them in reaching their health goals.”

The randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial analysed the feelings of hunger of 30 young, healthy men who fasted over a 24 hour period – from 6pm to 6pm - when only water was consumed. On three occasions over a three week period, the men were given either Amarasate™ or placebo at 16 hours and 20 hours from the beginning of the fast, and asked how hungry they felt every 30 minutes subsequently. When taking Amarasate™, the men reported a significant reduction in hunger. In addition, the increase in hunger observed at lunchtime (approximately 18 hours from start of fast) when taking placebo was absent when taking Amarasate™.

Amarasate™ is the extract of a hop cultivar bred by Plant & Food Research and only grown in New Zealand. Amarasate™ was identified from more than 900 plant extracts that were screened for their potential in controlling appetite, as part of the government-funded Foods for Appetite Control programme. The results of the study are published in the online journal Nutrients

Emma Timewell
Communications Manager, Corporate Communications,
Plant & Food Research Mt Albert,
120 Mt Albert Road, Sandringham
Auckland, 1025, New Zealand
Telephone: +64-9-925 8692
Mobile: +64-21-2429 365